A Nigerian missionary based in the Philippines and the Senior Pastor of The Evangelical Ark Mission (TEAM), Bishop Tony Marioghae has urged Nigerians to use their votes to put an end to activities of corrupt elements in the country in the coming elections.
He said also that only a servant leader and not a flamboyant emperor can deliver Nigeria from its present economic woes.
He made the submission in a statement made available to Church Times on Saturday, February 11.
Marioghae who oversees one of the fast-growing churches in the Philippines said “Despite our collective suffering, a shrinking GDP, a drained foreign reserve, and an ever-growing debt profile, we have the power to end this nightmare and set our country on the path of peace, prosperity, and progress by hiring a pragmatic and visionary thinker who has a production mindset to meet all domestic challenges and the global and technological demands of the 21st century.
“A country that has produced many world-acclaimed icons and achievers in all spectrums of life should never surrender its highest office to incompetent politicians and the worst elements in our society.
“Enough is enough. We must use our votes to send a clear message to the corrupt cabal that Nigeria is not for sale. Nelson Mandela once said, “real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people”.
He said further, “We do not want a flamboyant “emperor” as our president. We need a servant-leader who understands the daunting task ahead of him. It is needful to remind Nigerians of the urgency of the moment with the words of the American Senator from Georgia, Reverend Raphael Warnock, “a vote is a kind of prayer for the kind of world we desire for ourselves and our children.”
While urging Nigerians not to allow their sufferings to push them into despair and political apathy, he said, “Our vote is our power to turn our pain into purpose and tests into testimonies of victory that will reverberate worldwide.
“Let’s elect a president with vigour, compassion, knowledge, and competence to tackle the many problems of Nigeria. Let’s elect the person who will never betray the electoral mandate of the people who hired him to serve them.”
He said the misconduct of a few must not be the yardstick for measuring the integrity of all Nigerians.
“We are hard-working and intelligent people who know how to make the right choices when the occasion demands. We should never allow religious and tribal barriers to divide our ranks. We must be resolute with our demands for positive change.” he said.
The stakes in the 2023 elections according to him are high. “People are fed up with the status quo and want genuine change. The most radical elements in our midst even desire a people’s revolution.
“After eight years of this present administration, the nation has moved closer to the edge of the abyss. One more mistake may cause irreversible damage to our political entity. Nigerians must choose wisely by elevating the nation’s destiny above personal interests and sentiments. Patriotism demands painful sacrifices.” he said.
He said the Buhari government has plunged Nigeria into the abyss, “Since the inception of this government, the nation has changed drastically. Still, it was a change that has traumatised Nigerians in all facets of life – with the legacy of corruption, disunity, nepotism, insecurity, terrorism, inflation, gasoline scarcity, food scarcity, and the highest unemployment rate in the nation’s history.
“Nigerians have never experienced anything as terrible as this. Inaction at this crucial time is an irresponsible act of unpatriotism. We must vote to liberate this nation from the claws of the insidious by electing the most competent presidential candidate and qualified lawmakers.”
The cleric noted that with Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and untapped potential, “our people should never live in abject poverty. We must rely on our shared vision rather than the goodwill of western nations and China to carve our destiny.”
To achieve this, he urged Nigerians to embrace “quality leadership, common sense legislation, accountability and competent execution of meaningful projects. Nigerians should learn to look inward through innovative thinking, prudent planning, and thrifty spending habits.”
He counseled that the incoming president of Nigeria should work “towards decentralising and empowering the states and local governments for maximum productivity by assigning more responsibilities to the local units through constitutional restructuring.”